Nov 1, 2016

Black Earth Makes Ukraine an Important Agricultural Destination

Did you know? Ukraine, commonly known as the breadbasket of Europe, has over a quarter of the world's chernozem or “black earth” and 54 percent of its land is arable according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations.

Chernozem is a very fertile soil that produces high agricultural yields and offers excellent agronomic conditions for the production of crops, especially cereals and oilseeds. It is rich in phosphoric acids, phosphorus and ammonia. Chernozem also contains a high percentage of humus (up to 15% compared to 4% in average soils), which is an organic substance that consists of decayed plant or animal matter. As it decomposes, the color of the soil becomes darker and increases soil aggregation and the ability to attract and retain nutrients.

Ukraine is the top sunflower seed oil originator in the world and other major exports include wheat, barley and rapeseed. Earlier this year, Bunge opened its state-of-the-art Industrial Transshipping Complex in Mykolaiv, which includes a new oilseed crushing facility and upgraded grain terminal – the largest facility of its kind in the country. This enables Bunge to serve growing demand for oil, oilseeds and grain products from customers in the Middle East, Europe and India.